A recent announcement from Google is a tool for SEO audits that is none other than Lighthouse Extension for Google Chrome. This basically is a new feature to the existing lighthouse tool.
This blog will expand what the tool does and how it can aid auditing, if you are confused about how it may assist you then you should really take advice from a professional digital marketing company like Voova Digital.
Lighthouse Extension for Chrome
Lighthouse is a Chrome extension that provides various auditing features including:
- Best Practices and SEO
- Progressive Web App
All these features will allow webmasters and developers to improve the overall quality of a website by running various auditions.
On the previous version of lighthouse it only had progressive web app, performance and accessibility features so Google decided to add SEO Audit features to allow basic SEO health checks on any website.
You can run SEO audits on public pages as well as live pages and pages that need authentication.
There are two ways that you can run audits using the new extension, firstly through Lighthouse Chrome extension and secondly through Chrome Canary which are developer tools.
Using Through Chrome Extension
It is easy to perform an SEO audit though lighthouse extension:
- Firstly install the extension in the Google Chrome store.
- Click the lighthouse icon in the extension bar
- Select from the options list and select what you want to do, for instance an audit, SEO & Best Practices then click OK.
- Then click Generate Report
One the new tool completes the audit, a new tab will appear and your report can be seen.
Using Through Chrome Canary
If you want to audit through Chrome Canary then the steps are as follows:
- Go to Chrome developer tools.
- The go to Audit.
- Click of Perform Audit.
- Then tick the SEO checkbox for the audit and run it.
What Lighthouse Highlights
According to the new lighthouse tool any person looking to audit a site needs to bear in mind certain elements featuring:
- Avoid plugins
- Adjusting font sizes to screen size.
- Using the HTML <title> element.
- Using the HTML <meta name=”description” content=”x”tag.
- Adding a viewport meta tag to optimize your pages for mobiles.
- The status code.
- Using descriptive anchor texts for internal linking.
- Making certain pages are not blocked from indexation with the meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” tag.
A big difference between the updated tool and the previous one is that it is easy to overlook the fact that a page is blocked from indexation in a search engine.
Lighthouse is not a revolutionary tool, it does however bring the attention to some of the old Google Guidelines that many people may have forgotten about. If you own a small / medium sized website the lighthouse tool will probably be a really good tool, even if you are familiar with Google’s Guidelines it is always useful to have a reminder.
The new Google lighthouse tool has a basic list of checks which can be used for SEO purposes. It is already familiar with many other SEO tools but it does not make any guarantees for any SEO improvements in search engines.
But it does offer a complete set of SEO audits which can be utilized by persons such as webmasters and developers. It is Google’s intention to add a whole new suite of features to the lighthouse tool such as more in-depth audits and further guidance how to get the best from the tool.